Here’s a review of a nasty little play now on the London stage. Read it while sitting down. Read it while calm. Read it with a gentle CD playing in the background. Read it with a soothing drink in your hand. Read it while wondering whether the anti-Americanism of certain sections of the European intelligentsia has now become pathological. That’s not a question that should take long to answer. And then notice when the reviewer writes this:
“In Beaton’s view, only the West is wicked, bringing Armageddon down on its own head. The crimes of the Islamist fundamentalists are conveniently glossed over. Moral equivalence doesn’t come much more poisonous than this.
“Almost equally distressing is the lameness of the jokes and the routine mocking of Blair and Bush’s Christianity – we watch the pair of them singing a song called We’re sending you a cluster bomb from Jesus.
“Of course, though Beaton evidently regards Christianity as fair game, he lacks the balls to satirise the far more malign fanaticism of the Muslim world. That after all would be really risky. Far safer to pander to the self-loathing of the liberal intelligentsia.”
The reviewer is right. In an open society there ought to be nothing wrong, or – and how I hate that word- “offensive” about debating, satirizing and even ridiculing the religious beliefs – or the lack of religious belief – of others. Islam, however, seems to be exempt from this exchange. Criticizing that faith is somehow defined as ‘Islamophobia, ‘ a nonsense notion invented with only one purpose – to stifle the criticism of a religion that is long overdue a great deal of criticism. And soon. What a joke. What an insult.